Embracing Abstraction: Making Slab-Built Sculpture with Erin Furimsky

In Embracing Abstraction: Slab Built Sculpture, the second in a two-part video series, Erin Furimsky demonstrates using slab building techniques to make abstract sculpture that is angular in nature. Not only does she cover the technical aspects ... (Scroll down for more!)


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… aspects of making, but Erin also covers idea development and how she works through from initial idea to finished piece. In addition, Erin discusses how she uses surface treatments to enhance and compliment her forms. Many ceramic sculptors first come to clay through functional pottery. But it is sometimes difficult for potters to make that first leap into creating something more conceptual and less functional in nature. This video aims to help potters or budding ceramic sculptors try out new ways of working with clay.

You’ll learn how to:

  • work with patterns to plan your form and cut your slabs—similar to sewing
  • slip and score thoroughly and reinforce seams with coils to avoid cracking
  • compress and refine edges using a paddle
  • get your timing right so that you can get the most out of your slabs
  • use additive and subtractive techniques to refine the shape to exactly what you want

If you have are interested in exploring ceramic sculpture but need help figuring out how to develop your visual vocabulary, this video can help. If you have ideas for abstract forms, but aren’t sure how to approach building them, let this video be your guide. Or if you just aren’t sure how to move from making functional ware to conceptual sculpture, let Erin show you the way!

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